A cheap and quick way of grabbing a tasty meal, street food is the most popular eating option in Cambodia. No trip to the Kingdom of Wonder is complete without finding a space among the diners on the plastic tables and chairs, often full come breakfast, lunch and dinner. While the potential of food poisoning scares many into avoiding street carts, hedging your bets on the places locals flock to should prevent any dodgy bellies. Here are 10 of the best dishes to try.
A popular breakfast among locals, kuy teav is a noodle soup made from pork or beef bones and rice vermicelli. Fish balls and pork are added, and the dish is topped with bean sprouts, fried shallots and green onions. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, a Phnom Penh take on the soup sees blood, liver, intestine and tongue added into the mix.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Fried in shallow pans by mobile street vendors, num kachay are small chive cakes, made with glutinous rice flour and served with a sweet, spicy fish sauce. You’ll find similar versions of this dish in Thailand, but the recipe is believed to have originated in China.
Beef or pork skewers
The smell of this snack tends to attract diners from far and wide, with street vendors grilling the meat on-the-go above hot coals from their portable carts. Usually a common afternoon or evening nibble, sach ko chomkak can be eaten off the skewer, accompanied by pickled papaya salad, or placed into a crunchy baguette.
Fried noodles can be found in abundance across Cambodia in a baffling series of forms, from short and thick to soft egg or instant. Regardless of the different varieties, mi char is a common snack across the Kingdom; adding pork or beef before stir-frying with greens is a popular option.
If you’re squeamish then steer well clear of balut – although this may be tricky, given its popularity among locals. Balut is the fertilised embryo of a duck and it’s eaten whole, usually from the shell. While not typically appealing to a Western audience, balut is famous for being nutritious and rich in protein.
Not specifically reserved for the French, frog is a popular street snack in Cambodia, with vendors often seen carrying whole frogs, skewered on sticks and being barbecued. While the majority of these amphibians are small, they are juicy and tender, and often fried in chilli for a fiery kick.
Steamed pork bun
The street carts with steamers that can be seen lining the pavements of Cambodia are carrying steamed pork buns, a common afternoon treat. The hard-boiled bun is stuffed with pork and egg, and is always best eaten hot.
Found sizzling away in pans of oil, chet chien are the Cambodian version of the Scottish deep-fried Mars bar. Ripe bananas are flattened and dipped into a sweet batter with black sesame seeds and then deep-fried.
Pickled fruit is served by the bucketload on any street throughout Cambodia. Ranging from papaya and apple to cucumber and guava, the snacks are served in a plastic bag, along with a small side bag of dipping sauce made from salt, sugar, chilli and fish sauce.
Pork and rice
Pork and rice is one of Cambodia’s national dishes, and is eaten by the masses throughout the day and night. Marinated pork slices are served with a generous portion of rice, alongside a wedge of omelette, pickled veggies and a bowl of broth.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.